Consumers’ complex tech lives require outstanding support from brands

People’s reliance on devices in their work and personal lives is stronger than ever, meaning any tech problem causes serious disruption. Advanced end-to-end support for continuous connectivity is now paramount for brand loyalty

Levels of reliance on technology have been rising consistently in a mobile-first world and as people’s homes fill with internet-connected devices. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated that pro-cess dramatically: connectivity has become so integral to consumers’ lives, including their work, that any downtime causes significant pain.

Yet downtime is ever more common, with consumers increasingly needing to repair or replace their devices, finding they cannot make products work as expected, or that devices and apps from different providers will not integrate well. Consumers’ need for uninterrupted connectivity means that for any company selling technology, there is a growing need to provide complete and rapid insurance, repair and replacement propositions in order to protect user satisfaction and, ultimately, loyalty.

“Technology has fundamentally transformed the way everyone lives, works and interacts,” explains Rod Millar, chief executive at Likewize, the end-to-end device support company for manufacturers, network operators, banks and some of the world’s largest brands. “With devices mattering this much, it’s no surprise that when things go wrong, people feel pain and need it fixed quickly.”

Every day, consumers make a number of urgent functionality, connectivity and upgrade support requests to businesses providing technology; that is aside from any need to replace devices following breakage, loss or theft. But typical support experiences can be extremely slow and frustrating. Too often, the websites of device manufacturers or retailers, which are customers’ first port of call, are not up to the task, with FAQ pages that fail to answer common queries, while search engines can produce unhelpful results unless people enter exactly the right terminology.

Many brands are turning to outsourced support so they can address customer problems quickly and efficiently, leaving them to focus on core strategic aims. “It’s a natural step for technology busi-nesses to work with specialist third-party service providers to keep their customers connected. This is similar to how car companies offer branded breakdown services that are ultimately provided by dedicated roadside assistance firms,” Millar says.

Likewize, formerly known as Brightstar, aims to create “a life uninterrupted” for consumers and is focused on “taking this pain away, by delivering effortless customer care across all possible problem areas”, adds Millar.

A core part of the support experience transformation is the Likewize knowledge centre, which is used by cutting-edge businesses and provides real language search. It does this by using artificial intelligence to interpret user questions and provide the right answers with a much greater degree of clarity and precision. Additionally, its AI systems quickly identify trending searches around new tech problems so that important new queries can be answered, presenting an opportunity for significant competitive edge.

With devices mattering this much, it’s no surprise that when things go wrong, people feel
pain and need it fixed quickly

Using Likewize services, 98% of consumers’ support queries are solved instantly, automatically and with little expense or human interaction required by brands. Major device manufacturers, phone network operators, and online and in-store retailers all use Likewize services to provide customer support online, by phone, in store or at customers’ homes, when required.

“We help brands offer their customers complete solutions for fixing technology. We believe we should be wherever a customer wants us to be, so we offer solutions across all communication channels including online self-serve, chatbots, live chat or call centre staff. It is like an IT helpdesk that’s readily available for customers in whatever channel they want. We can solve nearly all prob-lems at this point, including through visualisations and 3D modelling to show customers exactly what to do,” explains Millar.

By resolving queries at the first point of contact, not only are customers kept satisfied but unnecessary costs are avoided. “Every manufacturer, mobile operator and retailer knows of the immense cost of processing returns. Using our end-to-end services, eight out of 10 returns can be prevented,” Millar notes.

Likewize offers expertise from live chat agents to help establish the root of the issue in a consumer’s home setup. In the case of products being damaged, new devices are sent out on behalf of the manufacturer or retailer. Technology providers can choose all or just specific aspects of Likewize services; with the end-to-end service, even if customers begin a query online they can seamlessly continue the process in store or by phone, and vice versa.

Providing such services has only become possible because Likewize has evolved from its origins as a mobile device distributor by embarking on major technology investments and acquisitions to provide complete end-to-end problem resolution services. “We could see that a home connectivity and remote working revolution was happening even prior to the pandemic, and that there was going to be more demand for tech protection, quick repairs or replacements and premium tech support from home,” explains Millar. “Those trends have been accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis and our tech is now more crucial than ever. Working with us, brands can ensure they solve all customer pain points quickly and efficiently.”

The range of technology companies already working with Likewize goes from Apple and Samsung, to Telefonica and Vodafone, to Tesco and EE and beyond. Among clients, the impact on customer support has been significant. One major retailer has been able to implement a powerful online helpdesk that has reduced the demand on call centres. Elsewhere, a manufacturer has been able to outsource repair and warranty services, while dramatically reducing posted returns through online resolution.

“Companies around the world rely on Likewize to increase customer satisfaction and grow loyalty while reducing costs. As we like to say, we enable them to ‘love their customers for less’,” Millar concludes. “Given the massive demands businesses face to provide excellent problem resolution affordably, now is the time to step ahead of their competitors by offering powerful end-to-end cus-tomer support.”

To find out more about how to solve customers’ technology problems rapidly and efficiently, visit

Unrivalled support gives competitive edge

Rod Millar, chief executive at Likewize (formerly Brightstar), explains how many technology companies are urgently transforming customer support

For any company making or selling technology, what is the main reason to transform customer support?

Even the best technology can go wrong or have problems. Today’s consumers are hugely reliant on their devices, from their mobile phones and laptops to home automation systems and entertainment technology. The proliferation of Internet of Things devices that need to work together has massively heightened the requirement for exceptional customer support. And now, with so many people work-ing from home, there is reliance on continuously functioning products. When consumers have a device issue, it is the most likely moment they will leave a provider and switch to the competition. A good support experience removes that risk and can deepen brand loyalty.

How do consumers normally try to solve technical problems and what service do they receive?

Typically, consumers will visit the websites of the retailer, operator or manufacturer, or start search-ing around online. When they cannot get a simple answer to their query, they’ll call the companies involved or visit the store. However, the complexity and array of different products they use means they often still do not get the right answers. If they can’t get the product to work as expected, they’ll return it. So, it’s a frustrating process for consumers of not finding answers, spending ages on the phone or having to go back into a shop. By contrast, we can solve 98% of queries online, then help other users by phone or in-person to fix any lingering problems. We quickly increase satisfaction rates and prevent costly returns.

Why should a company bring in Likewize instead of building its own end-to-end support?

We ensure brands can efficiently protect, support, repair and renew their consumers’ devices. Our entire business focus is creating excellent, seamless support and removing any barriers to it, satisfying the massive and continually growing need from consumers to get their devices working again and remain connected. Whether a device is lost, stolen, damaged, malfunctioning, in need of an upgrade, or the user does not know how to do something, Likewize provides a solution. 

When consumers have a device issue, it is the most likely moment they will leave a provider and switch to the competition

Brands want to avert negative experiences for consumers but doing so from end-to-end can be hugely complex and expensive. With our technology-backed intelligent service and product experts readily available, we are able to quickly solve all user eventualities for companies, so they focus on what is core to them, such as developing or selling products.

What is the reason for your company name change to Likewize?

We have evolved considerably over many years. Early on, we recognised the growing complexity and reliance people had on their technology in personal and remote work contexts. We have expanded to offer a complete after-sales service to address every customer device eventuality: lost, stolen, damaged, malfunctioning, user error or needing upgrade. However, research showed it was not always known that we did this, people still thought of us as a distributor instead of the full-service tech protection and support company we’ve become.

The company has been on a huge transformation, so we felt the brand needed to change so people reassess us and understand why we make the world a better place. We chose the name Likewize because it means we are all alike, aligned with our customers on the need for uninterrupted connectivity for their consumers. We recognise that we all cannot live happily or function productively without our devices. The name also reflects our aim of ensuring that users like the experience we provide and trust us to offer intelligent solutions.

How can companies establish a clear competitive edge in customer support?

The only answer is by quickly meeting consumers’ expectations. The world is impatient and people have complete dependence on their technology: they need their laptop for work Zoom calls, their mobile phone to switch off their burglar alarm, payment technology to use at the supermarket, or a home automation system that keeps life running smoothly.

But the key advantage is not in simply understanding consumers’ pain points but in being able to solve them quickly. By using our smart services, problems can be resolved quickly and cost effec-tively. Likewize end-to-end support ensures any business providing technology can innovatively provide the best possible resolutions and in doing so grow relationships with highly satisfied consumers.

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